There is a famous legend of the Zen master who every time someone asked him the secret of his spiritual life and mysticism would raise a finger. Every time people would ask one of this master’s young disciples what his master’s secret was, this young disciple would raise a finger. When the master heard about this disciple he seized him and cut off his finger. The boy groaned in pain and began to run away. The Zen master called out to the boy who stopped, turned around and the master raised his finger. At that moment the boy became enlightened and became a Zen Master.
This powerful legend makes us reflect on whose lives are we living? Some repeat doctrine, dogmas and rituals that were handed down to them without ever questioning them. Others follow authors and speakers and quote them without integrating them in their own lives. They have the words but not the music. Like the young disciple in the legend we all go through a phase of mimicry and imitation. But then we need to be open to the shock treatment of getting our ‘fingers cut,’ ready to stop, look back, be enlightened and find our own symbol and expression of the secret of our spiritual life and mysticism.
The finger that is cut off may be security that comes from family, society, culture, religion and God. The mind with all the philosophies and theologies stops; the heart with all our past experiences stops; and we are now AWAKE and ENLIGHTENED. Our lives become models that others follow or envy!
What is the secret of YOUR spiritual life and mysticism and how will that change the way you live your life? Do you want to be awakened, enlightened and allow people to follow you?